skin safety skin safety
HealtHy skin HealtHy skin
our committment to skin saFety Help us protect your skin
as a patient at Lakewood Health system, we will help keep your skin your skin is the largest body organ. it protects you, helps maintain
healthy by: your fluid balance and body temperature and is a key part of your
Providing you and your caregivers with information on skin safety. immune system. taking proper care of your skin includes eating
a balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids. Risk of injury to the
Our on-staff wound care nurse specialist is availble to answer
skin increases with age due to thinning of the skin and decreased
questions and provide care. if you have skin breakdown, ask your
healthcare provider about a referral.
in general, tips to remember:
• Maintain proper food and fluid intake unless your diet is restrict-
important pHone numBers
ed. Consider a consultation with our dietitian.
Physician: ___________________________________________ • Change your position in bed at least every one to two hours; ask
Wound/Ostomy nurse: ___________________________________________ your caregiver if you need help. shift your weight every 15-30
Diabetes educator: __________________________________________ minutes when sitting.
Dietitian: ___________________________________________ • Reduce friction when moving in bed. Don’t pull or drag yourself
Physical therapist: ___________________________________________ across the sheets or use your heels. avoid rubbing or massaging
Pharmacy: ___________________________________________ skin over the bony areas, and repetitive movements, like scratch-
ing your foot by rubbing it on the sheets.
• if you have pain on your heels or buttocks, tell your caregiver.
Pain may mean you have too much pressure on the skin. Don’t
important e-mails use doughnut-shaped cushions that can damage the tissues
under the skin.
ask your nurse for more information about Healthy skin:
• nutrition and fluids.
• foot Care tips for Diabetes.
49725 COUnty 83 • staPLes, Mn
sRV_0024_skin_04.07 www.lakewoodhealthsystem.com HOsPitaL i CLiniCs i seniOR seRViCes
HealtHy skin if you are bed-ridden for long periods of time:
WHat is a pressure ulcer? • keep the head of your bed as low as you can. if you need to raise it,
a pressure ulcer, once called a“bedsore,” raise it to the lowest point possible for a short period of time (30 de-
is an injury to the skin and underlying tissue. gree angle or less).
this is caused by unrelieved pressure that
• Use pillows to keep your knees and ankles from touching each other
keeps the skin from getting the oxygen and
and to keep your heels off the bed. Place pillows under your legs from
nutrients that it needs to stay healthy.
mid-calf to ankle, never under the knee. Use elbow pads for protec-
these ulcers usually occur on parts of the tion.
body that sustain pressure from lying in bed • avoid lying directly on your hipbone when on your side. Use a pillow to
or sitting for long periods of time, like hips, tilt 30 degrees to the side to avoid lying on a bony prominence.
buttocks and heels. Pressure ulcers begin as
• your caregiver may use a lift sheet to help you change positions and
reddened areas, but can damage skin and
prevent friction when moving up in bed.
muscles if not treated promptly.
• if you cannot turn easily, ask your care team if you need a special
Pressure ulcers are serious problems and can mattress or mattress overlay to lessen the pressure.
lead to pain, slower recovery from health
• Use a foot cradle to prevent pressure from bed linens on your toes.
problems and may lead to infection. there are many causes for pres-
sure ulcers. your risk increases if you: if you have problems with bladder or bowel control:
• are unable to move or change positions.
• Only use pads made for incontinence (that pull moisture away).
• Lose control of bowel or bladder.
• Protect your skin. keep your skin clean and dry. Bathe every other
• slide down in a bed or chair. day. Don’t rub or massage the skin over the bony parts of your body.
• Rub or create friction on the skin. Clean your skin with a pH balanced cleansing product.
• Don’t get enough nutrients or fluids. • Use a special cream or ointment to protect your skin from urine and
• Have poor circulation or fragile skin. stool. ask your care team for suggestions.
• Have problems thinking clearly. if you are often in a chair or wheelchair:
• Have problems feeling pressure or pain • Remember that comfort and good posture are important.
• Change positions often and spend time out of the chair.
preventing pressure ulcers
knowing how to help your care team prevent pressure ulcers is an im- • ask your care team if you need a special chair cushion.
portant part of your care. Here are some things you can do:
• Be active in your healthcare. Wound care/ostomy nurse
if you have questions or concerns, our on-staff Wound Care/Ostomy nurse
• involve your family and caregivers.
is available to answer questions and provide care to help you maintain
• ask questions. Be sure you know what is being done and why. healthy skin.
• explain your needs, wants and concerns.
• Learn what is best for you.
HOsPitaL i CLiniCs i seniOR seRViCes